The Argument Against Child Pageants… In My Opinion a Form of Abuse!


Low self-esteem is a serious issue in young girls, and a topic that I have addressed many times on my blogs, and in life. The effects of low self-esteem run deeper than most people imagine, and can cause irreparable harm to a woman’s emotional well-being years down the road. Beauty Pageants are a competition of ‘beauty‘, a judgment of looks and image that in essence decides who is beautiful and who is not. These competitions are a major cause of low self-esteem in girls today, and need to be addressed on a very serious level.

Is this what beauty means to you???

The popularity of beauty pageants has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Long gone are the days of the teenage “Georgia Peach” pageants, replaced with ‘Little Miss Perfect” and “Toddlers in Tiaras.” The fight for beauty has seeped into our young children and is creating countless issues that will be prominent in these children in the years to come.

Girls as young as 4 and 5 years-old are being ‘forced‘ to succumb to spray tans and hair bleaching in the name of beauty. They are being made to look like skanky young adults, and are being robbed of their childhood in the whole sickening process. I used the word “Forced” because I don’t believe that any 4 or 5 year-old child would choose to go through what these young pageant girls must go through each and every day. Though many of them probably view the whole charade as “Fun” I believe that it is more due to the fact that they are being told it’s fun, then the actual enjoyment of the situation.

Now, I have no issue with pageants themselves. Beauty Pageants can be great for building confidence and self-esteem. Young girls having a chance to show-off their talents and intelligence is a wonderful thing. What I have an issue with is what these pageants have become over time… No longer is a beauty pageant about being cute, being talented, or being intelligent. These pageants are about bleach blonde unnatural hair, fake tans, false teeth and a Barbie doll image that doesn’t exist. I ask these parents of pageant girls,

What are you teaching your children?

The image you are creating for your daughter is unattainable, and because of this falsity it is bound to have disastrous results. You can tell a little girl wining doesn’t matter until your blue in the face, but through turning her into something she is not you are speaking volumes in the opposite direction… and that is exactly what you are doing while you are spray tanning you child and bleaching her hair… you are telling her that the way she is, is not good enough… No matter what you try to say otherwise… that is the message you are sending, consciously or not!

I have been asked numerous times if I think these pageants should be banned, and my answer is always “Yes“. I think they have to be banned, for the time being at least. I don’t think that these parents have a clue the damage they are doing to their children and without the outside world stepping in to stop it, I don’t think they ever will. These mothers of pageant girls easily defend their actions no matter how much factual information they are faced with to show them the damage they are creating. Parents will defend their children by listing the benefits that pageants provide, benefits such as; Confidence, self-esteem, poise, and drive for success. But they fail to consider the consequences that surround the teaching of such false values and shallow views. Pageants now a days don’t teach girls about confidence, they teach girls that having a “Barbie Doll” image is the way of the world. They don’t teach self-esteem, they teach girls that who they are is not good enough for success, that beauty is skin deep and that without it they are nothing. They don’t teach poise, they teach children that being fake is society’s preference, and being who you are inside is going to get you no where. Is this the lesson we want our children to have??? Is this the reality we truly want them to live in?

I could rant and rave for hours on the effects of pageants, but as I said it is not the actual pageant itself, it is what these competitions have become….

My daughter is beautiful. She has light brown hair, a gap between her teeth and often a filthy face. She toddles around the house getting into trouble and making a great big mess. To me she is perfect just the way she is… I would never consider bleaching her hair, or spraying on a tan just to gain a trophy to place in her room.

Should my daughter ever suffer from low self-esteem I will reassure her of her beauty by placing her in front of a mirror and pointing out her good traits. I will remind her of how smart she is, and the talents she has, and the health she should be thankful for. I will help her feel secure by acknowledging that everyone looks and acts differently, and I  will be sure she knows that images in magazines are airbrushed fakes.

How can you deny your daughter the joy of who she truly is inside? That is the part of her that makes her unique.

Perhaps these parents are living vicariously through their children. I believe that each has security issues of their own that they are trying to appease by turning their children into their image of perfection… They need to open their eyes and realize that their children are wonderful just the way they are, and that they can not take back years of their own insecurity by creating a “Barbie Doll” that is not real!

Teaching your daughter that being beautiful is a sure road to fame and success is only enhancing the issues we have in the world today. It is true society values beauty, but shouldn’t we as parents be trying to change that view? We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging it, as this is only worsening the issue at hand.

Look now at your children, look deep into their eyes, Can you honestly tell me that they are not amazing JUST THE WAY THEY ARE?

So yes, I say ban the pageants. Stop this ‘abuse‘. Children should be taught to love themselves as they are, not forced to live a false image that does not exist. Teach your daughters to respect themselves, accept themselves and most importantly be themselves… or this issue is going to repeat itself as it has in you!

Here is a great link about the effects these pageants can have on our young girls, please check it out:  http://www.momlogic.com/2009/04/child_beauty_pageants.php

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Irresistibly Sweet Start to a Sunny Sunday…


My Sunday started off on a very positive note. I received an email from a fellow blogger informing me that she had something for me on her site. Curious I wandered over to GhostWriter a great WordPress site at https://1wordywoman.wordpress.com and saw that I had been given an award for my blog!!!

I was overjoyed! What an amazing honor, and a great way to close the weekend. Thanks Marantha I really appreciate this more than you know. This award is called “The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award” and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been lacking inspiration lately and was even considering shutting down my Random Musings site to move on to new adventures…. This award made me change my mind. Every writer enjoy’s knowing that people actually read their blogs or writings. I am no different. I needed this reminder, especially today, as motivation to keep writing. I love seeing that people are enjoying my posts and that what I write is affecting them in some way. So once again I must say Thanks you from the bottom of my heart.

As with all awards there are rules involved with my acceptance. First I must link back to the person that sent it to me, and so if you have not had a chance to check out GhostWriter here on WordPress you must do so right now. Marantha is an amazing writer who is inspiring and open hearted. She has a way with words and is just a kind-hearted soul. Go check out her blog and get inspired by her writing.

The next thing I am supposed to do in acceptance of this award is list seven things about myself… So here it goes:

  • I don’t feel like the ‘grown-up’ that I am supposed to be. I think perhaps I am a teenager stuck inside a grown-up’s body!
  • I never wanted children and now I have two… and though I wouldn’t change that for the world, I often worry that I am a terrible mother.
  • I love writing. It is my way of dealing with my emotions and releasing the stress of the day.
  • When I was younger I wanted to be a singer… I can’t carry a tune now to save my life as I have smoked for several years.
  • I currently post to 3 different blogs. One of which is more ‘private’ in nature and was created to help me find Who I am inside..
  • I am an overly creative person and I often allow my imagination to get the best of me.
  • I currently have no idea what I want to do with my life….

And lastly I am supposed to pass this award on to 15 writers that I believe are deserving of such notice… Below is my list:

http://thypolarlife.wordpress.com/
Always entertaining, often funny, and a very kind-hearted person. Check out her blog it is a great read.

http://experification.wordpress.com/
An amazing writer with an open mind and a way with words. Another great site to check out.

http://letmestartbysaying.wordpress.com
Fun, Funny, and great to follow. A little something for everyone here.

http://loveaddictnyc.com/
Follow a love addicted journey through NYC.

http://aayoung.wordpress.com/
Poetry from the heart.

http://motherhensnest.wordpress.com/
Always a good time, and ample amounts of wisdom.

http://bigsheepcommunications.wordpress.com/
Interesting and entertaining.

http://todayithink.wordpress.com/
Honesty and openness a refreshing read that is ever evolving.

http://whyamihereinahandbasket.com/
Wildly entertaining.

http://motherhoodwtf.com/
Guaranteed to make you giggle.

http://toohotmamas.wordpress.com/
Yet another great site you must check out.

http://sloopie72.wordpress.com/
Worth checking out.

http://inosculation.wordpress.com/
Great writing about simple things.

http://thehindsightletters.com/
Interesting and inspirational.

http://torinelson.wordpress.com/
Hours of entertainment.

And there you have it, all of those listed above are amazing and talented writers that help to inspire and entertain me each day. If you have not had a chance to view these sites I highly suggest that you do so. Take some time to kick back, relax and enjoy a good read… you are guaranteed to get one with these blogs.

To everyone else that I failed to list, I appreciate your writing as well. There are far too many talented writers both on WordPress and other sites, to list that constantly create amazing posts and regularly make me smile.

Once again a great big Thanks to Marantha over at GhostWriter for bestowing this award upon me today. You truly are an amazing woman and I appreciate your kind words and your amazing writing.

Cheers!

What Makes Mama Mad… Pieces of Me – Post #1


Well I have been blogging on here for quite a while now and I realized that it might be time to let my readers get to know me a little better, find out who I am, and discover what makes me tick. In light of this I have created a new category called pieces of me Inspired by Thypolar’s fantastic blog (check it out if you haven’t done so already… It’s a great read and always entertaining)

To start off this section, and get inspired, I have decided to answer a few questions about myself… Some are deeper more meaningful questions, others are just the basics that I feel you may want to know… So without delay:

Pieces of Me:

  • What’s your name? Katherine (I go by K8)
  • How old are you? 28 (Will be 29 in November…Scary stuff!)
  • Where did your blog title come from? Well I guess it came for the fact that I am a bit of a crazy person… and a Mama of two that is always ranting and raving about some thing.
  • What is your current living arrangement? Currently we live in Toronto, Ontario. There is myself, my two kids, my hubby our pain in the butt dog and Two buggies that will hopefully be gone by the weekend as they are driving me absolutely batty.
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was younger I wanted to be a singer/writer. I can’t sing now to save my life… Years of smoking have taken their toll….
  • What is your dream job? Writing. I love to see a finished piece and know that it was a creation from my mind, a thought that no one else ever had but me… I love knowing that people are reading something that is a part of me and actually enjoying it.
  • What is your favorite movie? That’s a hard one… Probably Back Draft. It’s such a great movie… Thrilling and touching all at the same time!
  • Do you have any children? Did you want to have children? I have two Children… ‘C’ my son who is 7 (almost 8) years-old and ‘L’ who is just turning 15 months. I had never wanted children.. The responsibility of it scared me, but now that I do I wouldn’t change it for the world!
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully not where I am today. I am hoping that sometime in the next 5 years I can get a career and perhaps be in a better place. My life thus far has been a series of mishaps that have gotten me nowhere, and so I am working on my plans to attain bigger, better things for the future.
  • Who in your family are you closest to? Another one that is difficult to answer. I get along with my family well for the most part. I am close with both my parents and my older sister.
  • What is your favorite book of all time? Wally LambShe’s Come Undone. A must read for anyone, especially women. The story of a girl who suffers from low self-esteem and the battle it creates in her life. It is both witty and touching. You will laugh as well as cry.
  • What are you most afraid of? Death.
  • What is your favorite quote? “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind!”
  • What was your childhood like? I had a fantastic childhood, my parents were very active in our lives and we had a very secure and stable life. We did a lot of family activities together and had a close relationship.
  • What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago? 5 years from now? 5 years ago I would have told myself to let things go. I would have explained that what seems important now is not going to matter tomorrow. I would have told myself to surround myself with positive people who will help me grow and let go of those who bring me down. For the me 5 years from now I will say the same thing… keep focused on yourself and your needs everything else will fall into place.
  • What do you want your headstone to say? Outgoing, Outspoken and Outrageous… Lived Her Life to the Fullest.
  • When was the last time you cried? I cry often. I am an overly sensitive person, and I also cry when I am very angry…
  • Are you married? Do you want to be? Why/Why not? I am not married. I would get married when I found someone who treated me as an equal and I knew that I was going to spend my life with them.
  • What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Hmm…Physically or Mentally? Physically it is their eyes and body shape. Mentally it is their level of confidence and their ability to make me laugh…
  • How would you describe your inner circle of friends? I don’t have many close friends anymore, life changed and we lost touch, went off in different directions. The ones I do have are honest and reliable. They are there for me without judgment and they always have my back when I need them.
  • What’s your view on Religion? I don’t have one at this point, and I avoid thinking about it at all costs… That is one of those touchy subjects that can get me rambling on and on for hours, arguing points until the cows come home.
  • What is your favorite smell? Sound? My favorite smell is fresh-cut grass, and my favorite sound is leaves crunching under your feet.
  • Your biggest Pet peeve? People who talk down to you.
  • What kind of drunk are you? I am not the nicest drunk… hence why I rarely drink. I am one of those people who thinks they are ten-feet tall and bullet proof when they drink… I am far to honest to drink because I don’t think before I speak.
  • How do you cheer yourself up when your feeling down? Music and writing are my goto’s when I am blue….
  • What are you most passionate about? Writing. I have this unexplainable need to express myself, and when I try to do so vocally people seem to take offence (see above: too honest) Thus I use writing to get the feelings out and share myself with others.
  • If you could help one charity achieve their goal which would it be? There are too many that need help.. but lately I am in tune with Dove and their mission to help girls gain self-esteem. I am a strong believer that building positive self-image for girls is an important part of a successful future.
  • How would you define true friendship? Wow… Ummm.. True friendship is that person who stands beside you and supports your choices even when they know you are wrong. It is someone who trusts that you need to learn for yourself, and still loves you even after you have made countless mistakes.
  • What do you offer to a relationship? I am a deeply passionate person. I offer unconditional love and equal respect. I offer that I will do unto you only as you do unto me.
  • What makes you angry? Too many things to list…. but I’ll name a few… People who put others down, men hitting women, rape, violence, child abuse, ignorance, lying, self-absorbed people, inconsiderate people, people who set out to hurt others on purpose.
  • Do you believe in luck or fate? I believe in fate. I think everything happens for a reason.
  • What song has a message you love and want to share with the world? The is a song by Nickleback called ‘If everyone cared‘ and it holds an amazing message for the world. Look it up if you have never heard it and listen to the beauty in the words.
  • What do you love about the city you live in? What do you hate? I love the constant chaos, the excitement, and the big city feel.. I hate the constant chaos, the excitement and the big city feel….
  • What stereotype to people make based on your appearance? Dumb Blonde….
  • Are you sure of what you want to do in life? I am not sure of what I want to do in life… never have been. I change my mind daily about what I want to do, or who I want to be… so I stick with the few things that have always been consistent such as writing and music…
  • How would you describe your relationship with your parents? My parents were amazing while I was growing up, and they still are now. They were loving and supportive and always there when you needed them. I have heard horror stories from other people about their parents and their childhoods… I feel lucky to have two loving, caring people who have been happily married for over 35 years and always did what was best for me. They truly were are great parents!

There are a few little pieces of me… I plan to share more in the future, but this is a start.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, I am usually very open and honest.

Cheers!

Close Your Eyes and Scream…


I have a wild imagination, I always have. Even as a child I was always dreaming up crazy ideas, strange new worlds, and amazing adventures. This wild imagination was the source of many great stories, it was also the cause of many great dreams, fantasies, and even nightmares

I have always been a vivid dreamer, I can usually wake up and remember what my dreams were about in very specific detail. In the past my dreams have been so realistic at times that I can smell and feel in them with such clarity that it is sometimes hard to distinguish what is real from what is a dream. It is because of this wild imagination, and these colorful, lifelike dreams that I have had to endure a lifetime of equally realistic nightmares.

I remember these nightmares from when I was a child. The fear and anxiety they would often bring. These dreams back then were often about animals or fantasy creatures. I remember one recurring dream about a bear killing my grandmothers dog right in front of my eyes. I recall seeing the dogs paw chopped up and placed on a platter outside the window from where I was hiding. In this dream the bear was attacking me and the dog came to my rescue, only to be defeated while saving my life. This dream plagued me for years, though it is silly to think about now, at the time it was frightening.

Of course as I have grown I have experienced less of these nightmares, though once in a while I will suffer from one. After the birth of my son I had constant dreams of him being kidnapped. Dreams that someone came to steal him in the night. Horrible dreams where I would be searching frantically for him in the dark, knowing that he was gone. These dreams are always disturbing, but thankfully it is easy to reassure yourself that this was just a dream with the simple act of opening your child’s bedroom door.

Other dreams have not been so easy to forget….

Just last night I have a vivid and horrifying dream that two men in masks were outside my window. When I saw that these men had guns I ducked, but my hubby was shot. Crawling across the floor I made it to my sons room and pulled him from his bed. I ran across the hall to my daughter and found she was still asleep.. Not wanting her to wake and start screaming my son and I huddled under her bed. One of the men came into her room, all I could see was his feet. He came towards her crib and leaned down towards her… In my dream I had a knife that I had grabbed on my way past the kitchen. I took this knife and reached out from under the bed cutting this man’s Achilles tendon (the back of his foot) blood sprayed everywhere.  I climbed out from under the crib, the masked man was screaming in pain and my daughter had awakened and was screaming as well. I grabbed the man’s gun and headed down the hall, the man in my daughter room was unable to stand or run because I had cut the back of his feet, so I set out to find the second masked man… who saw me coming with gun in hand and fled through the front door. I ran over to my hubby who was bleeding badly on the floor and I called 911. In my dream I knew he was going to die and I felt rage building deep inside of me.. I could smell the tin scent of his blood and felt the wetness on my hands. I returned to my daughter’s room… BTW I had taken my children and hidden them in the closet if you are wondering… the man I had cut was lying on the floor withering in pain. Anger took over me and as he reached up his hand I shot him… Satisfied that he was dead, and hearing the police sirens in the distance I reached down to remove his mask…

That is when I woke up! I never got to see his face, that frustrates me…

Now, although I am a grown-up and I know this was only a dream, it was frightening. It was frightening because it used all my senses… my dreams always seem to do that. I could feel fear, smell blood, feel the sticky wetness of it on my finger tips. I could feel my hubby’s short breaths on my face as I bent down to listen to his heart. I could feel my children’s fear and panic as they realized what was happening in their home where they were supposed to be safe. I could truly ‘feel’ the overwhelming rage when I realized that my hubby was going to die, and I could feel the strength of the gun and the spray of blood as I shot the man lying on the floor. Every sensation was real, I could feel it as if it was happening in reality. It is a scary and uncontrollable feeling.

Now that I am grown it is rare that I wake from one of these dreams and still feel fear. I have a wild imagination, but I have logic as well. I can easily console myself and I am aware of the reality around me. As a child though, nightmares can scare you to no end and it can take a long while before you are able to realize that what you saw, felt, and sensed in your dream was not actually part of reality. It can be confusing, I remember that fear, but now I am grown and I know the difference between a dream and life…

The only thing I wonder is why I have these dreams? Who dreams about horrible things like this? Why? What triggers such deep-rooted subconscious fear inside of me? I believe that we dream the things we do for a reason, but what reason could I possibly have for dreaming such horrible and frightening things???

I decided to look up the meaning of some of my dreams…

According to Dreammoods.com the dreams I used to have about my son being kidnapped mean that I am not letting aspects or characteristics of him be expressed within me. That I am trying to contain or suppress his qualities.

The dream about the bear that I used to have regularly could denote aggression, overwhelming obstacles, and competition. It may have meant that I was facing a threatening situation.

As for this dream I looked up Intruders and found no results. Burglary indicates that you are feeling violated or that personal space has been invaded. You feel helpless in some situation or relationship. This could be due to a major change in your life. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new environment. Murder (which cam up as killing) states that: To dream that you kill someone, indicates that you are on the verge of losing your temper and self-control. Consider the person you have killed and ask yourself if you feel any rage towards him or her in your waking life. Your dream may be expressing some hidden anger. Alternatively, you may be trying to kill an aspect of yourself that is represented by the person killed. Identify the characteristics of this person and ask yourself which of these qualities you are trying to put an end to… Which makes no sense as I have no idea who the man was that I killed. As for my hubby dying in my dream it says: To dream about the death of a loved one, suggests that you are lacking a certain aspect or quality that the loved one embodies. Ask yourself what makes this person special or what you like about them. It is that very quality that you are lacking in your own relationship or circumstances. Alternatively, the dream indicates that whatever that person represents has no part in your own life anymore… which is actually quite creepy!

I don’t know that this dream translates so literally, but I do know that it is a disturbing thing for anyone to dream… Why I dream of these horrible things I may never know… but at least I have grown and learned that they are not reality…

Now I will leave you with the thought that I am obviously crazy because I dream of such creepy things, and a few interesting facts about dreams and nightmares:

  • Definition of a nightmare: A nightmare is a terrifying or deeply upsetting dream of particular intensity causing strong feelings of fear, horror and distress.
  • About 5% – 10% of adults have nightmares once a month or more frequently.
  • Nightmares are related either to physiological causes, such as a high fever, or to psychological ones, such as unusual trauma or stress in the dreamer’s life.
  • Recent studies suggest that adults who have frequent nightmares tend to be more open, sensitive and emotional than average.
  • Studies have identified common reported themes in nightmares dreams include situations relating to school, being chased, sexual experiences, falling, arriving late, death, teeth falling out, flying and car accidents.
  • For most Five minutes after the end of the dream, half the content is forgotten. After ten minutes, 90% is lost.
  • Toddlers do not dream about themselves. In fact they do not appear in their dreams until the age of 3 or 4 years.
  • If you are snoring, you are not dreaming.
  • The original meaning of the word “nightmare” was a female spirit who besets people at night while they sleep.

Crazy Cat-astrophy!


I remember when I was little I was constantly bringing home strays. Stray cats, stray dogs, and even on occasion… stray people. I was a little mother hen always on the look out for then next ‘animal’ in need. One time I even found a flying squirrel and another time it was a baby mole… I certainly was an animal loving child!

Some things change I suppose. Though I am an animal lover now, I love animals a lot more when they are not my responsibility, and are not in my house… But… I still have a thing for caring for strays.

While doing the dishes Thursday evening I heard incessant ‘meowing‘ outside my kitchen window, upon inspection I found a very small, very skinny, very hungry cat sitting outside my window crying for attention and food.

I am not a cat person… not that I don’t like cats, I do, but years of bad allergies and asthma attacks have chipped away at my feline fondness. Even still looking at the skin and bones that was this young cat, who appeared to be either pregnant currently or had just recently given birth to kittens. (who judging by the malnutrition and poor state of health that this cat was in probably didn’t do well, if they had survived at all!) Needless to say, my heart ached for this poor animal who had clearly been abandoned by its original owner in the middle of the of the city and left to fend for itself. (which clearly was not working out so well)

It truly bothers me that a person can leave an animal to suffer the way people often do with cats. Sure, cats may originate from the wild and they are pretty self-sufficient creatures, but years of domestication mean that this animal is not meant to live wild…Especially in the midst of a city where they are unable to hunt and survive. It disgusts me that people can leave a poor little animal to suffer the way these stray cats do without a thought to their needs or a feeling for their lives. But that is an endless battle…

So feeling sorry for this sad excuse for a kitten I gathered some turkey breast and dog food, along with a bowl of water and fed this poor little abandoned animal. Well she gobbled it up instantly… She was clearly starving! After she had her fill of all that I had to give her she decided that we should be friends… Despite her disgusting, filthy, clumped up fur that was caked with grease and mud, she was kind of cute…

I sat and snuggled with her for a few moments, petting her and trying to pull of the excess hair that had clearly never been cleaned.

Now keep in mind here that my family is the proud owners of a very big, very stupid Rottweiler. Kayla is about 3 years old and weighs just over 100 pounds. She is an intimidating dog that often frightens large men, but believes that everyone should love her and be her friend… I joke often that our large dog thinks she is a chihuahua, as she will run up to people, jump up on us when we first come home, or climb up on our laps as we sit on the couch… This dog weighs more than I do, she is a far cry from a poodle!

As I lifted the cat to further inspect its sad state my big beautiful dog came bounding towards us and scared the whiskers off this poor little animal…. Who of course lashed out in fear and ended up injuring “me” instead of her curious attacker!!!

The picture above is the result of me trying to be cat woman and make a poor stray feel happy and loved! It also doesn’t do justice to the injury, which at the moment of impact began pouring blood into my eyes and caused it to immediately swell shut!

Now normally a scratch from a cat would not be cause for alarm in my books, but thanks to my curiosity (aka: Hypochondria)  and the World Wide Web, I discovered that cats carry a large amount of bacteria on their claws and that a simple scratch can lead to dangerous infection and disease…. So… I panicked! (Not immediately though.. It wasn’t until I awoke in the middle of the night and could not open my swollen eye that the fear really set in!)

One walk-in clinic, two prescriptions, and three hours later, I am fine and will not require any major surgery, or suffer from any permanent scaring! Though I did have to get a booster shot just to be safe!

I fell bad, because this incident was clearly not this little cats fault. She did not intentionally set out to harm me. She was simply reacting to a scary situation that I happened to be in the middle of!

I have since made a friend. This little cat has been hovering outside our house, and even managed to sneak inside for a second yesterday! The kids have taken a liking to her, and she seems to have gotten over the dog! I sat outside talking away to her during the sunny afternoon like a crazy cat lady… and although there is no chance of her ever becoming a member of my household I did go buy her some food.. because despite her filth and fur she is a cute harmless little animal, and unlike the heartless owner that abandoned her in the middle of the city I cannot watch anyone suffer!

The lesson out of all this????

No good deed goes unpunished!

Cheers!


Keeping Kids Busy… And Yourself Sane Sans Sunny Days!


Well It’s Cloudy In The Morning Gonna Be Raining In The Afternoon,
If You Don’t Like This Rainy Weather You Better Pack Your Bags And Move,
But If You’re Running From It Brother The Only Road That I Can See,
Is The Road That Leads To Nowhere And Nowhere Is A Fool Like Me…
Save Your Dimes And Nickels Save ’em For A Rainy Day
It Ain’t Gonna Keep The Rain From Coming,
But At Least You Know You’ve Paid Your Way
Rain, Rain, Rain Keep a Falling. – Willie Nelson


It is May 17th, by no mean is it summer yet, that I understand, but I think I was expecting better weather than this… It has been cold damp and rainy here for ‘days’, and I am simply fed up!

I have come to the simple conclusion that Mother Nature is a permanently PMSing BITCH! Just when you think you are safe to pack up the winter clothing she comes at you like a lion attacking its prey…

We have had a glimpse of warmer weather here and there over the recent weeks, and what a teaser that was… Just when I felt the joy of wearing flip-flops and tank tops, the skies turned grey and opened up upon us. For days now I have felt the dampness set into my bones, the cold wind cut at my skin, and the puddles soak through my soles. I hate cold, I hate rain, and I HATE mother nature.

I will admit, rain is much better than snow. If you have lived your life in Canada, (as I have for my entirety) you will gladly accept rain over snow any day… I know this might come as a shock to some, but way up here in the ‘North Country’ we don’t ALWAYS have snow… Nor do we live in igloos with pet penguins, and the impending fear of polar bear attacks lurking over our heads at all times. We don’t all say ‘eh’ and not all of us obsess about hockey…. But that’s another post for another time…

Anyway… This wet weather means that my kids are constantly indoors driving me crazy (well, crazier anyway) and so I decided to share with you my tips and tricks of

10 Things you should have on hand at all times to keep kids busy during bad weather:

  1. Arts and Crafts Supplies – Construction paper, glue, glitter, stickers, and scissors are must haves for any mothers cupboard. Children can entertain themselves for hours given the right tools of trade. Keep these items on hand an easily accessible for rainy days and let their creativity take over. These items can be purchased relatively cheap from your local dollar, or discount, store and kept organized in a large Tupperware bin or container. Check out this list to gather ideas of items to buy.
  2. Board Games – Trouble, Sorry, Monopoly and The Game of Life are all great ways to keep kids entertained indoors. Stock-up on good clean family fun when you see it on sale, and store them in a closet in-case of emergency. There are great games for any age group, and most can be found at your local department store or online for fair prices. If all else fails grab a deck of cards and teach them to play go-fish!
  3. A Few Good Movies – Nothing keeps kids quite on a rainy day like their favorite movie characters. Let them park in front of the television with their PJ’s and pillows and enjoy the piece and quiet it brings. You can purchase or rent DVDs at your local shopping center, or subscribe to Netflix for a small fee, allowing your kids unlimited t.v shows and movies from the comfort of your home, without the trip to the rental center.
  4. Simple Snacks – Be sure you always have simple to prepare snacks on hand. Children tend to eat more when they are bored so help them fill-up on nutritious foods by providing easy to eat snacks like fruit or nuts. Keeping these out on a table or in an easy to open jar will deter them from grabbing at the sugary snacks that are ready-made and generally available on hand.
  5. An Imagination Station – A tickle truck full of dress-up clothes can be a fun and entertaining project for curious children. Put together a box of old clothes in all different sizes and pull it out on a cold indoor day. Be sure you have a camera on hand to capture the cute and creative outfits they come up with.
  6. Books – Encourage reading by having a large selection of books on hand at all times. Select books of different levels and types, factual and fantasy. Having a wide selection will encourage children to read and learn no matter their mood.
  7. Video Games – Despite expert advice, I keep video games on hand for times when I require  peace and quiet. Video games can be a source of entertainment for older children, and an outlet of learning for younger ones. Not all video games are violent and not all of them lead to juvenile delinquency, there are a large assortment of video games available that will aid in your child’s learning and development ,so grab a few from Wal-Mart and let your kids have some fun.
  8. Writing Tools – Having paper and pens on hand for your child to follow in your ‘writing’ footsteps will encourage them to get creative. Children have wild imaginations, once they are old enough to read and write on their own sit them down with a pen and paper and have them write some stories. For younger children, take some time to write their stories out for them… You never know you could have the next best-selling author on your hands!
  9. Educational Toys – Every thing your children do can be a teaching opportunity, be sure you provide your children with toys that will not only entertain them but help to educate them as well. Technology has created ample amounts of educational toys that claim to aid in child development, do a little research and ask around before spending, but find a few that your child likes and allow them to learn and play at the same time.
  10. Other Children – I know what you’re thinking “who the hell wants to deal with more children on a rainy day?” but nothing keeps children entertained like other children. Get together with a girlfriend and make a plan for rainy day play dates, you get to enjoy quality time with grown-up while the kids keep each other amused.

Keeping children amused during this bad weather does not need to be difficult, a stock pile of entertaining items, as well as some creativity can keep children entertained for hours. Stock up your cupboards and curse Mother Nature, but don’t stress about your kids driving you nuts because with these helpful tips you’ve got it covered.

Do you have any tips for keeping kids amused on a rainy day?
Feel free to share them in the comments section, or email submission to:
chasek8@live.ca


The Struggle of Motherhood: The Chaos, The Casualties, and The Contemplation


I suppose it is time that I face the facts:

I am the mother of two insane, though admittedly amazing, children.

For a long time I have lived in a fantasy world with dreams that I would one day wake-up to my old life. I have fought with the unrealistic idea that I would open my eyes one morning  to find that I was back in my old bed, with my old stuff, living my old life, with my old friends, and things would once again be simple and carefree. I have carelessly dreamed that the responsibilities of raising two children would somehow disappear, and I would once again be free to live the flighty shallow life I was once accustomed to  living. These thoughts have been in the back of my subconscious mind for the last 8 years, somehow overshadowing any reality, and hindering my success. I didn’t think them consciously, and I have never said them out loud… I am not that crazy, they are not intentional thoughts! But for a long time I have refused to accept that this is the way things are, life is not going to change over night, and the pressure and chaos of motherhood is not simply going to fade away with the sunrise.

I see now the silliness of my ways. As I said, this was never a conscious thought.. I did not actually believe that I would wake up and find that my entire life for the last 8 years was all a crazy dream. No, of course not. I did not actually think that I would open my eyes one morning to a life where I suddenly had no children and things were responsibility free… In fact, had that actually happened I am sure that I would have been devastated. You see, I love and adore my children more than anything in the world, a despite the fact that they cost me a lot of money, they regularly test my sanity, and raising them is the scariest thing in the world… I wouldn’t trade them for any amount of fame, fortune, or fantasy. But… I have allowed my selfishness to hold me back. I have fought against embracing life for what it is, and I have lived with the hope that things would just get easier….

The truth is… They won’t!

No matter how much I fight against responsibility, no matter how far I run, or how hard I wish, life will always be exactly what it is at this moment!

I think there comes a point in everyone’s life where they must accept that this is the way it is… You can either choose to embrace it, or continue to struggle against it… This is the choice between happiness and struggle.. failure and success… joy and pain… forgiveness and remorse… This is the point I am at right now!

As silly as it sounds I have spent the last 8 years (and probably many more before that) making excuses for why I was not doing what I wanted to do. I have used my children as a crutch against a harsh world, and my fear of failure. I constantly allowed the little voice inside my mind to convince me that life was just too hard, and I gave myself permission to give up and give in!

The reality is, Yes. Life is hard! Life is always going to be hard! With or without my children I will struggle in someway. Perhaps it wouldn’t feel so stressful if I didn’t have the extra mouths to feed, but it would still be a struggle just the same! It is time that I accept life for what it is right now, time that I take responsibility and admit that it is my choices that have brought me where I am today. It is time that I let go of fantasy and make the best of the gifts I have been given. It is time that I stop taking for granted all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me and embrace life with open arms. It is time that I accept and assess the way things are, and embrace what I can not control. It is time that I change what I can… and most of all it is time I stop making excuses!

Maybe I don’t like the constant responsibility or caring for two children… but that’s mostly because I am afraid that I will make mistakes. Perhaps it is difficult to make ends meet at times… but no more difficult that it would be on my own. Sure, it might be frightening to accept that these children need me, that they rely on me to be their strength and their guidance, of course that is a frightening thing… Hell, half the time I can’t guide myself to the grocery store , the shower, or even to bed…. but the truth is every parent is scared, not just me! It is time I end this pity party once and for all, time that I take all that I have been given and turn it into the best thing that I possibly can. I have spent 8 years fighting the facts and I will not do this for 8 more… It is time for me to realize that I will never again be carefree, I will never again have a moment where I don’t have to consider someone else’s needs, I will never again have the freedom to run from my fears…

It is time that I accept wholeheartedly that this is exactly the way that life is supposed to be right now, this is exactly what I need.

And so now I will leave you with a thought…

Our choices have brought us all to the place we are right at this moment, and in life we are always given exactly what we need to succeed… Though there may be times of struggle, moments of pain, and plenty of fear… each and every obstacle you face in life was placed there purposely, with the intent to teach you something new. Your life is what you have made it through your choices in the past, and what you opt to make it through your choices each and every day… You can either choose to embrace it or you can continue to fight… This is the choice between happiness and struggle…

Which do you choose today?

Mother’s Day – It’s the Thought that Counts… Really!


Tonight I came across a list on WebTabLab titled The 15 Worst Mother’s Day Gifts You Should NOT Give Your Mom and I have to say I am appalled by a number of the items listed…

The first item to head up their list of worst gifts is household appliances. Now, while I can understand how such a gift could be considered offensive, the truth is that larger, more expensive household items that your mother desires are NOT a bad idea. I, personally would enjoy receiving a new vacuum cleaner or the latest kitchen gadget as a gift because it is something that I will actually use, and generally would not go out and purchase for myself… It is dependent on the personality of the person of course, but I don’t think it should top the list.

The next item on the list that raises my disagreement is Bath/Body Gift Sets. Though I understand the reasoning they use, this is an item that a mother could go and purchase herself, honestly as a mother how often DO you? If it is an exceptional set that is clearly not off the Walmart discount rack, and the mother enjoys such products it can be a nice gift to give.

Cook Books/Diet Books is the nest item on the list, and though I agree with the diet book being a bad gift, a cook book (for a woman who ENJOYS cooking) can be a gift that will not offend… Though if there has EVER been even the slightest, most subtle hint in the past that this mother needs to improve her cooking, OR she is not constantly in the Kitchen and once upon a time dreamed of being a chef… It could offend her and should be avoided. Cooking Utensils is also on their list and goes hand-in-hand with the information above…

Another item, Jewelery Made By You  is a choice that could go either way. If you are a) under the age of 18 or b) truly talented as a jewelery designer then this gift is a fine choice.. BUT if you are 36 and broke as hell.. it might be better to fake a flu until payday!

Now Exercise Equipment or a Gym Pass would probably be a bad choice unless mom is a health nut or specifically asked for them.  As would an E-Card under any circumstance unless you live thousands of miles away, in a 3rd world country, and can not even afford the stamp to send a “real” one in the mail. There are other items they list I do agree with such as; Cleaning supplies, or Things That Are Not Her Interest, but items that say ‘World’s Greatest Mom‘ can be cute once in a while, and when not overwhelmingly tacky, or as a gift from the kids. As can Homemade Coupons if they are for jobs or tasks that she would appreciate and are actually going to be followed through upon request.

Now getting Momma Nothing is, of course, a bad idea, but I believe any gift… no matter the cost…. is an amazing gift because of the thought. I don’t think that this list should say these are “Bad” gifts, instead simply put thought into your purchase and you are guaranteed to please… because most Momma’s know that any “thought” is worth for more than any value!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Newsflash: Cheerleader Denied Justice (Again)


Newsflash: Cheerleader Denied Justice (Again) : Ms Magazine Blog – StumbleUpon.

The link listed above is something that I HAD to share… Read the story and imagine yourself in this poor girls shoes…

Then share it with everyone you know….

A brief overview for you; This is the story of Hillaire S, a 16 year-old high school student who was taken into a dark room at a party and raped by the school’s star basketball player while one of his friends pinned her down. Thankfully her cries for him to “stop” were heard by some other students in the hallway of the home, who broke in the door and scared the attacker away.

The boy, Rakheem Bolton, was charged with rape, as was his accomplice, but three months after the offense a grand jury chose NOT to indite either of the students on the alleged charges. An investigation showed that one of the jury members was the offender’s pastor, and his cousin happened to  powerful member of city council, under the employment of the District Attorney!

Though he was eventually forced to face court again on an appeal, he ended up pleading to a lesser charge of simple assault. Adding insult to injury this boy was allowed to return to the school campus between court appearances, and was even allowed to play during the schools basket ball play-offs. The victim, who was a member of the school’s cheer-leading squad, refused to cheer for her rapist during one of the teams games. The cheer she refused to chant???  “Two, Four, Six, Eight, Ten.. Come on Rakheem, Put It In!”

For refusing to cheer for attacker she was kicked off the cheer-leading squad by the schools Superintendent and other school administrators.

Her parents, outraged by the schools actions and lack of concern for their daughter’s safety and well-being in the first place, let alone in this specific situation, decided to sue the school for ‘violating her right to freedom of speech

Unfortunately the court did not side with the family and the case was dismissed, an appeal ended with a refusal to hear the case, and the families fight has fallen silent.

I was shocked by this story. I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised, everyday you find stories just like this one, that tell of a justice system failing those victims that turn to them for help, but it never fails to disgust me…. no matter how many times I read about it.

I think Naomi said it best with her comment on the original post, “This IS absolutely infuriating… but not surprising” and THAT is sad! Almost daily young men are getting away with unlawful and immoral acts all over America, because they are “star player” or have family members that are in positions of power, and it is not just teens that get this kind of unfair, unjust treatment… How many celebrities have we seen who have broken the law, and not suffered the consequences?? Money and Fame afford you freedom… That is the message this country sends!

In this case I believe that Awareness is the key to combating Rape, the more of a fuss we make as citizens, the more the government will HAVE to do to deal with the problem. NO ONE should EVER get away with touching or harming anyone, no matter who they, their family, or friends are!! I don’t care if this kids grandfather is the Pope, or if he were the Pope himself…. He should suffer the consequences for making this young girl suffer the way she had to…

And as for the school… I can not even fathom what I would do if I was in her families position. This school should be ashamed of themselves… Are sports stars more important to you than the morals and laws of life? You really want to send the message that it is OK to rape? What are you telling these children? Children that we entrust to you daily, children that we as parents send to you in order to help us instill strong values? Children that we educate through you in the hopes that we can ultimately create adults with respect, intelligence and a drive for success, and THIS is the message you send them?  There is NO excuse for this schools actions.. some might argue that this boy is innocent until proven guilty, but isn’t that right the same for this young girl? Why does she not get the same respect or freedom?

THIS GIRL‘S SAFETY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRIORITY

Not the star player or score of the game!

I can not even begin to express the outright disgust that I feel towards this school for the actions they have taken, as well as the courts for their lack there of. They have literally taken this girls open wounds and poured lemon juice on them… forcing her, I am sure, to relive this traumatic experience over and over…. Also shocking is the court’s dismissal of the families lawsuit brought about by their daughters refusal to cheer for her rapist.. Money would be the very least way, in my eyes, that the school could even begin to repair the damage they have done…. This young girl should never have been in the position in the first place where she would have HAD to make such a choice.. Her right to a safe school environment was outright ignored for the schools need to have a winning basketball team!

It shows a complete lack of respect, and a major internal issue… Did this girl not suffer enough? Why should she have to relive this trauma daily, in public, without any sign of a caring adult standing by to support her rights at school? How does this school make the decision that basketball is more important that the safety and well-being of a young girl?

I can not wrap my head around this no matter how hard I try.. no matter what angle I look at it from…

It is JUST WRONG!


My heart truly goes out to this girl and her family, if it was my daughter I am almost sure that would be on trial for murder.. I only hope they can read these words somehow and see that they are not alone, that they are supported in their efforts to find justice. I pray that they may get some peace knowing that no matter what, justice WILL some how prevail in the end.. because no matter what happens….

What goes around, comes around!

***I hope everyone that reads this story will somehow share it. Blog it, share it on Facebook and Tweet about it… Don’t let this poor girl suffer any more than she already has.. show her that you support her… that the “right” thing will be done some how, some way!!***

RAPE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED…

SEND THE MESSAGE…

TAKE A STAND!

OH, The Woes of a Country Mouse…


I am not sure that I am cut out for this city living. I thought that I loved the hustle and bustle that life in the city brings. I thought that the sights and sounds would set my mind ablaze. I assumed that I would enjoy exploring, I thought I would find constant adventure. I truly believed that the city would bring me joy…

But it hasn’t!

In fact, the hustle and bustle of the city is driving me mad. The sights and sounds have grown more irritating than entertaining, and they have done nothing to inspire my mind. Actually, they are kind of distracting! I have given up on exploring the city because everywhere you go is crowded with people, it takes hours on the bus, and the sidewalks are jam-packed with pedestrians. You can’t drive because the roads are complete chaos, and the only adventure I have found is the over abundance of insane people you see walking around unsupervised on a daily basis. The city and I do not see eye-to-eye….

Sure I like the conveniences that the city provides, like the large shopping malls and the endless amounts of interesting little shops that line the streets. I like the variety of activities I have to choose from if I want to do something with the kids. I like the diversity, the culture and the many different kids of people you can meet… But I rarely go shopping, I never get out with the kids any more and the people.. though diverse, are R-U-D-E! No one smiles and says hello. No one asks How you are doing? or How you have been? There is rarely friendly chit-chat, and most people walk around with their heads down, or their noses up.

Yes, city life is different.

I thought that I would be more creative here… but it is hard to do when you realize that you are one tiny speck among millions who are aiming for the same dream. It feels almost intimidating to find that you are anonymous, that you mean nothing to the hundreds of people you walk by every single day. It is daunting and depressing to watch the violence and suffering that is Top Story on the daily news.

Yes, the city and I are different.

I realize that I enjoyed walking down the street and seeing a familiar face. I liked being able to stop and talk to a friend. I like the friendly environment and welcoming atmosphere that was a “small” town. I miss the simplicity that was country living, the way you were a regular at a shop or bar. I miss the smiles that greeted you at every corner, and the simple politeness that came along. I was happy with the peace and quite. I didn’t even really mind that the buses didn’t run at night…. at least in the small town you could take a taxi without spending a hundred bucks.

Yes, the country and I are alike in many ways.

I miss the fresh air, and the clean water. The lack of garbage, and the abundance of trees. The fields, the flowers, and the family. The ease and openness. I miss not having to worry or stress about safety, not having to think before walking in the dark. I miss being able to walk on the sidewalks and drive on the roads without being run over. I miss the way things were….

But I am here in the city now, and though I miss many things, I need to accept that me and the city differ, that we will never be the same. I need to enjoy the things that are good here, and embrace them when I can.

I guess it is true the saying “That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

There are plenty of things that I like here.. don’t get me wrong, but I guess I just didn’t realize how much I would miss what became my home!